Colorado mountains
From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology
2015 LTER ASM Estes Park, CO - August 30 - September 2, 2015

Toward a framework for ecosystem consequences of extreme climate events in all seasons: from deserts to temperate rain forest

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There is much evidence to suggest that while mean global temperature and precipitation are being affected by climate change, it is through local scale changes in temperature and precipitation extreme events that the greatest ecosystem change will occur. Much research has been focused on these ‘event’ style drivers of ecosystem change over the last decade, with both observational and experimental studies across many ecosystem types. Indeed, many of these studies have been conducted in association with previous and current LTER sites, and due to the long-term climate data available in these areas, these sites are ideal for initiating studies to examine the mechanistic linkages between variability in climate and ecosystem responses. In this session, we will build upon the framework proposed by the previous LTER Extreme Events Working Group (XEWG) to fit a variety of biomes from desert to forest, and consider climate anomalies at different times throughout the calendar year, including winter events that have not enjoyed the same research focus as growing season manipulations. To reach this goal, we will first provide a review of some of the ecosystem responses to pulse style climate events, then highlight some of the major findings from LTER sites engaging in these studies. Participants will be asked to work in small groups focused on types of event disturbance across biomes, and then compare models with other groups to identify key areas of needed future research in these areas for ecosystems at risk of increased variability in climate.

Amber Churchill
Laura Ladwig
Number of 2 hour sessions requested: 
Equipment requested: 
Screen, LCD projector
Working Group Reports
Room Assignment: 
Ruesch Auditorium – Bilheimer (Capacity 50)